The holiday season is upon us! That means family time, cozy nights by the fire, baked goods…and scrambling to buy presents! But here’s an idea for you -save some time by grouping your holiday travel and holiday shopping!
If you’re traveling to New York City this holiday season, we’ve compiled a few local stores you absolutely must check out for your holiday gift needs. You’ll get to explore a new place, avoid the online shopping shipping wait, and best yet -by shopping small you’ll be supporting the local economy and small business owners! Of course, New York City is massive and has a plethora of small businesses to support. We’ve grouped this tiny sampling of businesses by “hot spot” areas where you can hit a few stores at a time.
The East Village
Located in lower Manhattan, The Village is a colorful, historical, and queer-friendly neighborhood with bohemian vibes. Some of the great gift shops here include:
· John Derian Company is an artsy home décor shop, bursting with color. Check out their handmade ornaments or artist John Derian’s specialty: decoupage items like plates and vases.
· Woman-owned Spark Pretty is all about the throwback. They carry rock-and-roll style apparel, pins, and patches with an 80s and 90s vibe.
· You can find any kind of book at Strand Bookstore. No seriously, they have 18 miles of books for you to browse! There’s also plenty of fun little gift items throughout the store. The Strand is truly a Manhattan icon and has been family-owned since 1927.
This hip, multicultural, and youthful Queens neighborhood is only 20 minutes from Midtown and is home to lots of independent businesses.
· Woman-owned The Brass Owl is a boutique with a distinctly feminine flair. The shop cares about supporting local artists, and has a variety of clothing, tote bags, candles, ornaments, and more.
· Pamper the people on your shopping list by buying from Earth & Me, a zero-waste home goods and self-care store.
· Help your friends and family stay sane during lockdown by gifting them board games and puzzles from Gamestoria.
Get some fresh air in between browsing stores in Prospect Heights, located right on the northern edge of Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
· Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a huge gift shop that supports the garden. You can browse an assortment of products under the umbrellas of self-care, gardening, cooking, and more.
· Located right next door, The Brooklyn Museum Shop supports this important institution and carries plenty of books and gift items.
Tri-State Area Airports
Of course, if your hectic holiday has you rushing straight from the plane to a family gathering, you won’t have time to browse through boutiques in any of the boroughs. Luckily, no matter which of the three airports that serve New York City you fly into, you may be able to grab last-minute gifts at the shops inside. But be sure to check their websites as many airport stores are currently closed due to COVID-19: